The European Central Bank (ECB) is considering the pros and cons of rolling out the digital euro for the public and businesses.
Europeans named losing privacy as their biggest concern over a transition to a digital currency, a new survey of Eurozone citizens by the European Central Bank found.
Those living on the Continent expect the digital euro, which is being mulled by ECB, to be private, safe, and cheap, the survey showed.
A fully digital currency might turn out to be less private than simple electronic payments using the euro since it would likely be more integrated into the ECB, which would have access to people’s payment data.
In the coming months, the ECB plans to decide whether to launch a two-year analysis of the digital euro project to stem competition from cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Tether, and Facebook’s Diem.
Those polled prioritised usability in the Eurozone (11 percent), no additional costs (9 percent), and offline use (8 percent) as they main things they wanted from the digital euro, while 18 percent said they were in favour of the currency.
Central banks in other countries are also considering the idea of implementing a digital variant of their currencies, with China leading the pack – it’s already gradually rolling out the digital Yuan to replace banknotes and coins in the future.
Deputy Governor of the People’s Bank of China Fan Yifei has spoken previously in favour of keeping a degree of anonymity “within a controllable range” to help with financial security. The payments would be anonymous to some degree, but data analysis tools could help the central bank to crack down on money laundering and other criminal activity.